Daily Xtra: Village news, tech, travel, and Madonna

So! It’s been quite a busy month for me, both at Xtra and in my other career, of which more in a separate post.

Just this week, I reported on the sale of Church St hangout Pegasus to long-time bartender Chris Hudspeth. Both Pegasus and Spa Excess (owned by the former Pegasus owners) are expected to continue with no major changes.

Also in nearby businesses, I reported on the opening of the new Madonna themed/co-owned gym Hard Candy Fitness in the Aura building. Other papers broke the news of the opening, but I got the only interview with the club’s president and the story of how Madonna chose Toronto for the North American debut of her chain (no, I don’t count Mexico City as “North American” for obvious cultural reasons).

I wrote a review/preview of Bridegroom, a documentary about a gay couple’s struggles under unequal marriage in the US, which made its debut on Netflix last week.

And I reported on the launch of the Church St Murals project, which is currently why the neighbourhood is covered in scaffolds all over the place. I’ve said it a bunch of times, but I think mural art is generally pretty tacky and awful, and the completed projects have so far not changed my opinion, but I’ll reserve judgement until all the murals are finished (although the story has a photo gallery of the works in progress). Still,  they’re bringing some added colour to the neighbourhood, which is nice.

On the tech front, I snagged an interview with the CEO of new cruising app Hornet. I think people are looking for alternatives to Grindr, particularly since the (IMHO) disastrous launch of version 2.0. Although since my story on Hornet, that app has introduced some really annoying pop-up ads that are making it quite frustrating.

And on the travel front, Xtra’s published my features on Dublin and Winnipeg, which I believe finishes off the inventory of travel stories I’ve filed for them this year.


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